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Tech Transfer

Carrier Aeroseal, LLC.

Sealing leaky air-conditioning and heating ducts used to demand a costly, labor-intensive process. To search for hidden leaks, contractors squeezed through attics and under homes, with only duct tape or mastic to seal the faulty area. With technology licensed from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Aeroseal, a division of Carrier Corporation, has put an end to those days.  Instead, Aeroseal uses air-borne adhesive particles to seal leaks from inside the ducts.


Each year, approximately $5 billion of energy escapes from leaky residential ducts across the United States, equivalent to the energy consumed by 13 million cars. The carbon dioxide uptake of 7 billion trees is needed to offset the global warming impacts of this energy waste.  Even after a new heating and air conditioning system is installed, 10-30% of thermal cooling and heating is often lost to duct leakage. 

     
  The Aeroseal Hardware Kit   The Aeroseal technology injects aerosolized vinyl polymer particles into a pressurized duct system. The particles stay suspended in the air stream until they reach leaks, where they are deposited and build up at the leak edges until the leaks are sealed.  

In addition to providing energy savings, Aeroseal  duct sealing provides homeowners with higher quality air. In the United States, 180 feet of ducts run through the average home – enough to accumulate over forty pounds of dust within a year's time.  This considerable dust buildup is then blown into rooms, generating unhealthy air along with reduced cooling and heating capacities. 2001
Aeroseal is the brainchild of Mark Modera, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD).  In 1994, after four years of research and development, Berkeley Lab received a patent for Modera's aerosol-based duct sealing technology. The Austin, Texas-based Aeroseal was launched in 1997 to commercialize this innovative technique.  Modera was the president and CEO.  In 2001, Carrier Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of heating and air conditioning equipment,  acquired Aeroseal.  Soon thereafter, the company licensed new Berkeley Lab technology developed by Modera and Duo Wang that enables effective sealing in the complex duct systems of small commercial buildings. Duct repair is handled by fifty-three contractors nationwide, trained and certified to use Carrier Aeroseal's proprietary technology.


With Aeroseal's technology, sealant particles of two to twenty micrometers are injected into a duct system for approximately one hour.  The injection is computer controlled with specialized software that allows both technician and customer to view the process in real time.  Prior to sealing, furnaces, fans and grilles are blocked, directing all adhesive particles towards cracks, leaks, and holes.  Aeroseal's technique has been proven to seal from 70 to 90% of duct leaks and is guaranteed to last for ten years.  This technology can reach previously unfixable leaks at low cost and minimal disruption to building occupants.  The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates that duct sealing procedures could result in annual energy savings of up to $300 per home.

   
  A technician prepares the Aeroseal equipment to seal an exhaust air system at a commercial building. The system can also be used for residential systems.  
Last updated: 09/17/2009